tv [untitled] June 21, 2012 5:00pm-5:30pm EDT
colorado, we have a legalized regime of medical marijuana. we found some great degree of success in combatting the abuse of prescription drugs by making sure the patients have access to medical marijuana. the science indicates and i am currently encouraging you to look at the sciences and less addictive and less harmful to human health than the narcotic prescription drugs that are abuse and when they are used on label, they can be harmful to health as well. would your agency consider supporting medical medical provision when is that can be used to in pursuit of your top priority? if it can be documented that the use of medical marijuana helps reduce the abuse of prescription drugs, is that something you are willing to pursue? >> congress determined that marijuana is a controlled substance. de a's task with enforcing --
>> you mentioned priorities and you said top priority, reducing use of prescription drugs. one tactic to do that would be use of medical marijuana and wanted to make sure top priority, are you willing to look at the use of medical marijuana as a way of reducing the abuse of prescription drugs? >> we will look at any options for reducing drug addiction. >> time for the gentlemen has expired. the gentlemen from texas. >> thank the chairman of the ranking member. thank you for your appearance and having been in phoenix a couple of week ago, let me express my appreciation for the drug enforcement agency officers. their professionalism and as well, the work that is dmn houston, texas. where we are the center point,
if you will, for a number of issues dealing with gun trafficking and as well the confluence, if you will, money, drugs, and guns. we are aware of the experience of collaboration. i will ask a series of quick questions and appreciate helping me get as much on the record as i can. what is the experience of collaboration? between the major federal law enforcement and i use as an example, atf and others along with those that i represent on the homeland security. what's the importance of that? >> ma'am, let me start by saying that state and local participation has been de a's bread and butter for the 39 years we have been in agency. you combine that partnership with the partnerships that we
developed at the other federal agencies. i don't think there is any stronger or anything more effective at attacking violent crime and attacking drug trafficking than having task forces. to answer that, especially in the houston -- >> my question is, is a collaboration strong, positive, continuing and do the administrators of the agencies encourage that collaboration? >> yes. we are probably collaborating now more than ever before. >> great. let me move to fast and furious for a brief question. has there been a thorough investigation of de a's contact or involvement by the oig? >> yes. we made all of our employees in the phoenix field division -- >> any questions regarding supervisor directions to say don't sianything, all that was has been investigated? >> it is being investigated.
>> being investigated and all documents will be able to be accessed and the final report will be able to be accessed on that issue? >> we are all awaiting the oig finalizing the investigation and the report. >> would you be able to submit that to this committee once it is finalized? >> yes. i would have to defer to the inspector general, but usually the oig reports are made public. >> let me move forward and as i said, quick questions. what is the extent of drug trafficking on tribal land? can i get brief answers? i have a series here. >> yes. there is a serious substance abuse problem on tribal land. especially in the last five years with prescription drugs. their big problem used to be alcohol and methamphetamine, but more recently -- >> and so what are we doing?
the dea has a focus on that? we have a problem and i believe it is, do we have a focus? >> absolutely. we have established very good relationships with the other law enforcement agencies, both the fbi and bureau of indian affairs and other tribal law enforcement and have done joint investigations. we depend on them to tell us who are the traffickers. what are those most impacting this supply on indian lands. jointly work with them sharing intelligence and we had many successes on those lands. >> right. let me ask you, there have been many requests by members, how is the prime republican budget that would cut resources, how devastating would that be and let me follow-up so you can answer these questions.
i'm concerned about bath salts. we talked about synthetic, but focused on bath salts and the impact that it just had in houston, texas, a story i will refer you to. specifically talked about an incident with bath salts and individual david peterson who died on a galveston street found disoriented and in extreme physical deterioration. then i would appreciate your comment about dea officers and physician officers and pain pills and whether or not the response is excessive and whether you think we are being fair to doctors on those investigations. >> do you have all points of that multifacetted question? >> the last question i had a hard time hearing. >> thank you, mr. chairman. the efforts for dea dealing with physicians and pain pills, there
is sort of a surge of closing physician officers and raving them, i am wondering, are we being excessive or careful? you are literally shutting down professional who is may be legitimately issuing -- >> the witness will answer. >> i will start with the -- you asked about the budget. these are ouster budget times and we work with what money is given to us and we will prioritize accordingly. as to the synthetic drugs and i am glad you bring that up, emerging problems that concern us, this committee helped give us the biggest we can. that's controlling some of those chemicals and the substances. in your area for instance, our agents have opened a number of investigations, both on bath
salts and on k-2 and spice. they have been pretty successful in assisting state and local officers on those types of investigations as well. your third question about physicians and pill mills and pain clinics, houston is very troubling because they have a pill mill problem. it's not like in florida with oxycodone, it is hydrocodone that is the problem there. we have got many investigations, successful investigations, and we have arrested and prosecuted some very egregious doctors. let me say that the doctors that are affiliated and operating these pill mills and working within the pill mills, there is no -- you are not practicing medicine and you are not giving
examinations to patients and these pill mills are open for pill distribution. those are the fashions and those are the clinics that we have targeted using our intelligence and under cover investigations and we have been very successful in the houston area. >> time with the gentle woman has expired. >> thank you for your courtesy. could i put a question on the record to be answered in writing, please? >> yes. that will be taken dare of with the ucs i am ready to propound. thank you for coming. we look forward to seeing you come back here. you might look forward to seeing us again. might not. thank you for your testimony today. i think it has been helpful to all of the members. without objection, all members will have five legislative days
to submit to the chair additional questions for the witnesses which we will forward and ask the witness to respond as promptly as they can so that their answers may be made a part of the record. without objection all members have five legislative days to submit additional materials for inclusion. with that again, i thank her and this hearing is adjourned.
>> peter edleman's latest book, so rich, so poor talks about why our economy produces wealth and poverty at the same time. and suggestions on how to improve the conditions on the americans living below the poverty line. he will be speaking about the book this afternoon in washington and will have live coverage at 6:30 eastern on booktv.org. >> this weekend, katie paf listen details fast and furious. >> this was something swept under the rug and kept from not only the american people and mexican people as well. there hundreds of faceless innocent mexican citizen who is have been murdered as a result of this. the only thing that we knew
outside of the government program was that guns from american gun dealers were going into mexico and causing all these problems with the cartel when really the government was sanctioning the sales and sending them into mexico. >> she interviewed by the white house correspondent at 9:00. part of book tv. this weekend on c-span 2. >> this week's heritage foundation has a policy discussion. former congressman davis elaborated on his recent decision to switch to the opinion party and the importance of the 2012 presidential election. in 2008, he seconded the official nomination of barack obama at the democratic convention. other it is include chairman jim jordan of ohio and the tea party patriot jenny beth martin. this is about an hour.
>> it pays to show up early. thanks for joining us at the blogger's cleaving. if it's your first time, we welcome viewers on c-span. thank you for tuning in today. for those of you who are new, basically we will have three speakers and give them remarks and have them take your questions. we are excited to have all three of them. we will begin by artur davis, a former member of congress from alabama and he represented the district for years as a democrat. he had leadership positions within the party and was one of the first members to endorse barack obama in 2008. today he has a different
perspective on things as a result of some of the policies that were pursued in the aftermath of obama's election and he will share his thoughts on those issues as well as other things that may be on your mind. join me in welcoming artur davis. >> thank you, ladies and gentlemen, thank you. rob, after the introduction, some of you are probably wondering why the heck i'm here. i will say a little bit more about that. let me thank all of you for coming out and you are listening in from online and the places we thank them for joining us as well. i did get the memo that you guys prefer the comments to be on the short side. the only problem is someone who used to be an elected official, short may not mean to me what it does to you. perhaps to you it means i talk too long already.
it may mean i have six minutes to go. we will try to create a happy medium around that. let me start out by first of all saying one thing about where we are. i turned 45 years old this year. by the way, i'm thankful for the gray hairs in the room for making me not the only old person who is here today. i know people looking at this cannot tell, but there a lot of incredibly young people sitting in this room. i'm thankful to the gray hairs. i turned 45 years old in october. when i got interested in politics in the early 1980s, president reagan had just come to power. heritage was kind of the only game in town when it came to smart, creative policy ideas. a lot of the things that president reagan did in the 1980s, a lot of the ideas and the template for change came out
of the imagination of ronald reagan. i will say something about that, but allowed the rest of it to come in these hall ways and from people who have been associated with this foundation for a long time. as someone who is kind of a new convert to the republican party, but not such a new convert to conservatism, this is like being in the cathedral. i am honored in that sense. rob alluded to the fact that i switched parties a few weeks ago and did it the new fashioned way and i did a listing on my blog about it. i have gotten some attention, some publicity for it. not of it not deserved. it is a little bit unusual for someone who used to be a democratic elected official to switch parties. it is unusual for an african-american democratic elected official to switch camps. i get all of that.
i want to put it in perspective. 2008, president obama got 53% of the vote. by the way, that's the biggest margin anybody running for president of the united states has gotten since george hw bush got 54%. relative landslide in our closely polarized country. president obama's approval rating today depending on the poll, 46 to 47%. depending on the poll you look at, he and governor romney have been tied with each other at 45 or 46 for most of the last several weeks. artur davis is not the only person in the obama camp in 2008 who has been in political migration. by my harvard math which is probably badly flawed, 10 million americans or so have
shifted camps. and i brought these notes with you because i want to share for a few moments things that people have written me in the course of the last several months, all of these quotes are from people who either identified themselves as democrats or people who say they voted for barack obama don't identify with their party. i want to read you this because it provides clarity for why i am literally a pebble in an ocean of change. one lady wrote "i figured out in the middle of the worst economy in my life how to start a business and make money. i just paid 1/3 of what i earned not to my kids savings or retirement, but to the federal government. i am tired of being told i didn't pay my fair share.
another guy wrote me again, this is a person who identified himself as an obama supporter four years ago. he said that his employers just sent out a notice that it is shifting to a higher deductible health care plan that provides stingier benefits than the ones that exist today. he wrote "they told me their reforms wouldn't change my insurance. why did they lie to me?" . that's his quote. another guy volunteered in the obama campaign and wrote "i'm tired of being told if i want the worst teachers out of my kid's school and one state employee is to pay for their retirement the same way i do, it means i hate teachers and despise public service."
finally another gentlemen said "i voted for obama because he said business as usual was over in washington. promise broken." now, a lot of our friends on the left wouldn't find any of that terribly poetic and nothing about this being the moment from the rise of the oceans will begin to cease. no poetic declaration that we are the ones we have been waiting for. but the comments that i have read to you, there is a very powerful eloquence to them, ladies and gentlemen. they are the way people talk around the dinner table. they are the way ordinary people talk to themselves about politics and they are making a case and people like them who don't have a forum who may not have access to a computer to
write a guy like me and people around this country regardless of the level of their voice, a lot of them are saying we have changed our political faiths because the people we used to listen to either didn't tell us the truth or they got it flatly wrong. so i wanted to start by saying to my friends on the right and that's not everybody here, but a lot of you. we don't have to heckle the other side. we don't have to cut the president off because the more the other side keeps talking, the more the other side keeps making its argument. the more people are beginning to move our way. i firmly believe that. they may be moving our way not on the wings of remarkable poetry, but on the wings of
their common sense. that's point number one. point number two, i want to confess a keep envy i had to our conservatives for a simple reason. part of it is the fact that you won all the elections in alabama and my old side didn't. i always envied about people on the political right. this is a center right country. 40% of americans call themselves conservatives and 20% call themselves liberals. at any given time, those of you on the center right, you get to spend a lot of time arguing to people why their instincts are right and why they have a vote based on their beliefs. my old side, it used to kill me. we had to spend a lot of our time telling people the things you think are not right, you do not really think them. they may be important to you,
but they are not important in the scheme of things, you ought to vote for what we think is important. it's amazing how that worked out. the fact that if you look back at the history of elections again, there all these young people in the room in your 20s. i know ancient politics to you is bush versus gore. when you think about republicans won a lot of elections. 72, 84, 88 and 2004, republicans and conservatives federal won by telling people that the status quo was working and that you have to give the status quo a chance to continue. one time conservatives won in 2000 when the other side was in power by saying the status quo was working. you guys have got to win a lot of elections by talking about the status quo. you know what also fascinated me as a sympathetic observer, for
all of the elections you won talking about the status quo, i always had a sense the election that you cared most about could not have been more important from that appeal. i am talking about 1980. 1980, ronald reagan came to the country. he didn't have the luxury of saying what we are doing is working. let's continue it. what we were doing had wrecked the economy and what we were doing had caused the u.s. to lose the first war. what we were doing caused the united states to fall second to the soviet union and the only time since world war ii in the early 80s, the early 80s were the only time since world war ii where our side of the value scale in terms of global politics, our side was on the wane and the other side on the ascension. ronald reagan could not come and
say what we are doing is working. he also couldn't speak to a republican country because 52% of americans called themselves democrats as late as the 1970s and a number of republicans in the upper 30s. instead of making an appeal to keep things the way they are and not take a chance on risk, the election that so many conservatives cared the most about, for one, you trade all the others is 1980 when ronald reagan had to come to this country and say we appear to be in the doll drums and losing our way. we can do better if we recover what has been best in our tradition. and ladies and gentlemen, for those of you who do not remember that time, it was a very powerful call.
it touched people working on ship yards. people living under the shadow of ty ranee from cube to china. touched blacks in south africa. touched people all over the world who loved hearing the call of freedom. for all the people in your 20s who were here, people in the 20s were almost genetically predisposed to be democrats. they said that was the way to go. all the college professors sold them that. they fell in love with a guy who was 70 years of age who was not a part of their culture who was not a part of their lifestyle who spoke to their sense of imagination. blue collar americans. people who work with their hands.
who had been taught understandably that it was the party of economic royalism and did sympathize with aspirations and they discovered there was a party that connected with their fate and goals for their lives economically and it was the republican party and blue collar people who worked with their hands found a home in a conservative party. i mention all of that before i take your questions for a simple reason. i have a hunch that this may be 1980 all over again. the challenges we are facing, all of a sudden our leaders act as if we are weak and what do our letters tell us over and over? we were elected to govern and leave, but we have to check in and make sure that athens and madrid are sailing properly.
never heard that before. we never heard of leadership in this country say our fortunes depend on athens and madrid. this could be a time, ladies and gentlemen, 20 years from now when the young people here are standing up here. i think this will be a time we remember. so for those of you in the room who are part of the center right, i'm happy to be here with you. the first president i remember is ronald reagan. yes, i do remember the preacher of my church saying everybody vote for jimmy carter. that's another story. the first presidency i remember is ronald reagan's. i remember how he turned the country around and if you were in the camp of people who think we need turning around right now, by the way, that doesn't
mean that mitt romney has to be ronald reagan. there will be one. there won't be another one. it means one thing. boldness matters in politics. boldness is rewarded in politics. clarity is rewarded in politics. governor walker can tell you that in wisconsin. governor kristi can say that in new jersey. clarity is rewarded in politics. the last thing governor romney needs is advice from a new guy. the last thing out of my mouth before i take questions is this. i think the american people are ready to hear the call. i think they are ready to hear the man who would lead us and tell us we can control our own destiny. not madrid or athens. we can control our own destiny and i think people have since talked to them again.